This was a good week. Nathanael sounds really great. I think he's starting to enjoy his time in Brazil.
How are you guys?? I'm sorry that I'm writing so late. This morning has been crazy. But I'm excited to talk to you guys! This week has been really good. We've been working hard as always. The time is starting to fly by a little bit. On P-Day last week Elder Arias (from Argentina) made tacos and they were really good. I sent pictures. So we've been having fun. I'm always a little stressed and I've been struggling quite a bit with homesickness this week (I think it's just the Christmas season) but I'm doing well. I've been thinking a lot about this actually.
Yesterday was hard for me. I was feeling really homesick and overwhelmed. We had a special church conference though and I was really hoping to feel inspiration there. It was a broadcast for all of Brazil, and Elder Holland spoke. He did a really good job and we could feel his love for us. It was a sweet meeting. He spoke quite a lot in Portuguese and it was cool, and plus it raised my self-esteem in the language a little bit, haha. I've been struggling with the language this week too. But I was feeling really overwhelmed during the meeting, to the point where I was in tears, and I didn't know what to do. I've really been trying hard to focus on my blessings and be grateful for my difficulties, so I just said a little prayer of gratitude for my challenges. I felt this feeling of peace and I remembered what President Cutler taught us about during that fireside after trek. I don't know if you guys remember but he talked about that poem about trees who grow in wind or something like that. I felt like the Spirit whispered to me: "I need strong missionaries." I understood in that moment that the Lord is giving me these trials or allowing me to have them or whatever it may be so that, in the future, I can be a really strong missionary. He wants me to be excellent so He's giving me personalized tutoring right now, and for me that includes struggling with homesickness, worry, and the language, and everything else. That was really comforting to me. He's at the helm.
We've been working really hard with 2 families lately. Unfortunately they are both really awesome but won't go to church. We want so badly to help them receive the gospel and we love them but they are struggling. I really enjoy working with them and talking to them but it's frustrating sometimes too.
I got tons of letters, and Cassie's package this week!! Make sure to thank Benson for me -- he sent me two letters and they are awesome. I don't have his email so I can't write him. And thanks for the letters and everything. I should get your package -- there was a mix up and I got another Elder's christmas package instead, but my comp is going to Piracicaba today and he's going to make the trade. Cassie sent me a bunch of awesome stuff and Christmas decorations, and I decorated. My room is way more awesome now, and I love it!
I'm happy to hear about Eric!!! I hope his birthday was good. He told me last week that he was planning on playing Left 4 Dead with you (Dad) . I hope that was fun. I'm jealous of your Skyrim and Xbox in general and you have to keep me posted on your playing.
I feel good this week. I stress out a lot and stuff but I know the Lord is and is going to help me. Sometimes I think I'm adjusting well and sometimes I feel like I'm in 10/10 freakout mode, seriously. This week has been a little rough. But don't get me wrong, it's been great and I'm always feeling your support and prayers. Thanks so much for everything. I love you guys.
Talk to you soon,